The contrast between the two speeches - Clinton's and Obama's - was instructive. She was fine - but seemed to purloin the entire Obama message. The idea of the Clintons as a unifying force for change is not exactly persuasive. "Ready For Change"? A desperate new mishmash.

As for Obama? Maybe you saw it. Simply put: he sounded like a president. The theme was not just change; it was a new unity. And as a black man, he helps heal the past as well as forge the future. This really was history tonight. To win so many white voices, and bring together so many minorities, and use the unifying language that leaves the toxins of race and partisanship behind: This was the moment America stopped being afraid.

This was the America we have missed and have found again.

Know hope.

(Photo: the Obama victory rally tonight by Win McNamee/Getty.)